Sir Freddie's new travel plans
Sir Freddie Laker, whose cheap-air-fare and package-vacation empire crashed around his ears nine months ago, is launching a new company, Monitor contributor Alexander MacLeod reports. It will be called Freddie Laker Holidays Ltd.
Sir Freddie, an ebullient, tough-minded entrepreneur who invented the Skytrain concept of international air travel, believes that soon again his name will be synonymous with cheap vacations.
As soon as Britain's Civil Aviation Authority granted Sir Freddie an operating license, the Association of British Travel Agents denounced the plan, indicating it would reject his membership application.
The association's objection is that Sir Freddie was the director of a bankrupt company. When he went bankrupt, the official receiver sold off his assets, including Laker Holidays, which still operates under that name. If Sir Freddie's latest venture gets airborne, two companies will bear the Laker name: Laker Holidays and Freddie Laker Holidays.
The new Laker venture is a joint operation with the giant international trading corporation Lonrho, headed by ''Tiny'' Rowland, himself a controversial figure in international business.
If Sir Freddie's new company is denied membership by the travel agents, he will probably have to sell direct to the public, but it is unlikely that would be beyond the capacities of the man who has been working on cheap air travels ideas for more than 40 years.